NRC: Too few vet students going into research, public healthColleges are not preparing enough veterinarians to serve in academic and research capacities, according to a report from the National Research Council (NRC). The report says that, although the supply of veterinarians is growing, most graduates seek training in companion-animal or pet medicine and not enough are prepared for faculty teaching or research positions or for jobs in state diagnostic laboratories, federal research and regulatory agencies, and the pharmaceutical and biologics industry. College debt also drives veterinary students away from pursuing PhD training, according to an NRC news release. The shortage could hamper filling “jobs overseeing and enforcing food safety and animal health standards, conducting research in human drug development and advances in pet health, and participating in wildlife and ecosystem management, infectious disease control, biosecurity, and agro-terrorism prevention,” according to the press release. Alan Kelly, BVSc, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania and chair of the committee that wrote the report, said, “We must ensure that schools train qualified veterinarians in sync with the diverse and growing array of societal needs.”May 30 NRC news releaseFull report Iowa lab warned of Salmonella in hens before 2010 egg outbreakMonths before a 2010 multistate outbreak of Salmonella in eggs was made public, an Iowa State University (ISU) lab found Salmonella in sick laying hens at Iowa farms owned by former egg magnate Jack DeCoster and warned the egg producer that the pathogen “almost certainly” was in its eggs, the Associated Press (AP) reported today. The ISU Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory found Salmonella in manure at several Iowa egg-laying plants and in hens’ internal organs about 4 months before the August 2010 recall of 550 million DeCoster eggs, the story said. Birds on the farms were dying in unusually high numbers, and by late April, 43% of DeCoster poultry houses tested positive for Salmonella. On May 1 of that year, ISU scientist Darrell Trampel, DVM, PhD, told a colleague that the lab had isolated Salmonella Enteritidis (SE), the outbreak strain, from the livers of dead hens from two farms that each housed tens of thousands of chickens. “If SE is in the livers of the laying hens, it is almost certainly in the eggs,” he wrote in an e-mail. He also informed DeCoster manager Tony Wasmund, both on that day and on May 11, when similar findings were seen in dead hens from three Iowa plants, according to the story. The laboratory released its testing records in response to a subpoena from NuCal Foods, a California cooperative that bought contaminated DeCoster eggs and is now suing. ISU lab operations director Rodger Main, DVM, PhD, said SE doesn’t have to be reported to state or federal officials, and doing so would violate confidentiality agreements between the lab and food producers, who pay for the voluntary tests. The 2010 outbreak sickened at least 1,900 people nationwide.Aid group vaccinates 117,000 to fight cholera in GuineaThe aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF, or Doctors Without Borders) announced recently that it vaccinated 117,000 people to fight a cholera outbreak in Guinea, marking the first time Africans have been give a two-dose oral vaccine during an outbreak. Working with the Guinean Ministry of Health, MSF vaccinated people in the coastal region around Boffa, 150 kilometers north of Conakry, capital of the West African country, MSF said in a May 31 statement. “We were faced with an outbreak and we wanted first to protect people by vaccinating them, and to limit the spread of cholera,” said Dr Dominique Legros, MSF’s innovation initiative manager in Geneva. MSF and a partner group, Epicentre, plan to monitor the course of the Boffa outbreak and the effectiveness of vaccination over the next 6 months. “The results of this surveillance will be analyzed and used to develop a comprehensive global response strategy for future epidemics, which will enable MSF teams to deploy quickly to vaccinate communities and protect more people,” the group said. It commented that vaccination is a promising new tool for fighting cholera, but it must be complemented by treatment, improved hygiene, and the provision of safe water and sanitation.May 31 MSF statement Jun 4, 2012
Press Release, October 10, 2014; Image: officeofprimeminister.com PNG’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has welcomed the commitment of Total of France to advance the Elk-Antelope liquefied natural gas project in Papua New Guinea. The Prime Minister received an update on the company’s national engagement from Total Executives, which included Total’s Vice-President Arnaud Breavillac, during their visit to Papua New Guinea, according to a statement by Prime Minister’s office.Prime Minister Peter O’Neill welcomed the executives and expressed his appreciation that the LNG project in the Elk-Antelope gas fields is on track. He noted that the revised sales and purchase agreement between InterOil and Total in March this year paves the way for Total to bring its considerable LNG expertise to develop PNG’s second LNG project.“Progress on Elk-Antelope gas fields in the East Papuan Basin is being made and Total is committed to working with the government, joint venture partners and stakeholders,” the Prime Minister said following the meeting.“Total is one of the largest integrated oil and gas companies in the world and has employees with expertise covering the broad spectrum of oil and gas industry activities,” he added.In a joint press statement released by Total and InterOil, following the signing the revised sales and purchase agreement in March this year, Total Exploration and Production Senior Vice President, Jean-Marie Guillermou said the agreement allows the joint venture to proceed with confidence.“Elk-Antelope is a significant project in Total’s global portfolio and our presence in Papua New Guinea provides an ideal opportunity to grow our business in the Asia-Pacific region,” Giullermou stated.“We have a strong relationship with our joint ventures and strong support from the Papua New Guinea Government, and we now look forward to leading the development of the LNG project,” added Giullermou.
Oil and gas company Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) has extended the license containing the Blythe gas discovery in the Southern North Sea with plans to submit the field development plan before the end of 2016.IOG said on Thursday that, following discussions with the UK Oil & Gas Authority (OGA), the licence for Blocks 48/22b and 48/23a was extended until December 31, 2017.This was the final month of the company’s 15-month license extension agreed with the OGA in August 2015 with the expiration date being December 31, 2016.IOG became the operator and 100 percent owner of the license after agreeing to buy the other 50% of the license from Alpha Petroleum Resources in April this year.According to IOG, Blythe needs no further appraisal and has independently verified gross 2P reserves of 34.3 BCF (6.1 MMBoe).Mark Routh, CEO of IOG, said: “Blythe is at the center of our first gas hub so this license extension is welcomed and is absolutely essential. We are on track to submit a draft Field Development Plan for Blythe before the end of the year.”